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First Show: Jun 26, 1952
Last Show: Jun 18, 1961
Number Shows: 480 shows, 2 auditions, 5 hour tribute
Audition Shows: Jun 11, 1949, Jul 13, 1949
Gunsmoke is one of those long-running classic Old-Time Radio shows that everyone knows and remembers. It's also one that is still respected for its high values, in all aspects. Gunsmoke first aired on the CBS network on April 26, 1952, billed as the first adult western. It was set in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1870's.
The main character, Matt Dillon, was played by William Conrad. On August 6, 1951, William Conrad played the lead in a show entitled "Pagosa" in the series Romance, where he played the part of a reluctant sheriff in a tough Western town. Although not a true audition, Conrad's character role is very close the that of Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke. It was one of the "stepping stones" toward the production of Gunsmoke.
Other regular characters were Chester Proudfoot, played by Parley Baer; Kitty, played by Georgia Ellis; and Doc Adams, played by Howard McNear.
The series featured top-notch acting and well-developed scripts that set it apart from many other shows, not only Westerns; however, it was the sound effects that stood out the most. Listen carefully and one can hear many levels of sound that really helps transport the listener back to the old west.
Besides the US version, there was an Austrailian production of Gunsmoke. It began sometime in 1955, transcribed under the Artransa label, and aired Mondays at 7:00 PM on the Macquarie network. It is not known how many shows aired or how long the series ran.
This OTRR Certified Archival release contains all except six episodes, which are not known to exist. It consists of eleven zipped CDs. The first CD contains many bonus materials, including the Tribute Show, the first TV episode, all known Australian episodes, and a lot of other great stuff.
OTRR Certification Information:
Series Name: Gunsmoke
Certification Status: OTRR Certified Accurate
Certification Date: April 4, 2008
Certification Version: Version 4
Number of CDs: 11
From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
|Image Files||JPEG||JPEG Thumb|
|Other Files||Archive BitTorrent|
Subject: RE Missing Material
Thanks!-I just started downloading them and had only downloaded the first 7.
Subject: Re Missing material
Just a note to let you know that the material you are looking for is on disc 11.
Dream On -
Subject: Wonderful wonderful show - with complex themes and stunning production.
I have been a fan of William Conrad, Harry Bartell, John Dehner and especially brilliant director Norman MacDonnell from their earlier collaborations in the wonderful "Escape" series. I don't have a high interest in Westerns, as most of the ones I've seen or heard fall into tired macho clices - no John Wayne for me thanks. (Amazingly, another "Escape" mastermind William N. Robson fell into this same trap with his short-lived and very disappointing "Luke Slaughter of Tombstone" series.)
"Gunsmoke" is so much more. I'm about 100 shows into this, and it blows me away. You can instantly tell a Norm MacDonnell production - the sound effects are completely vivid, done with great care. With the mic-placement moving in and around - actors sound like they walk away, long passages of silence or walking, actors positively inhabiting a character purely through the acting power of their voice - this is so vivid, and a great alternative tribute to the completely convincing "Escape" years. That's just the pure sound. The stories are quite serious morality tales, and nothing as simple as an unbribable frontier US Marshall shooting Bad Guys week after week. The stories offer so much more than that.
I doubt I will ever watch the TV show - this radio version could never be topped for the vivid images it's placed in my ear and right to my heart.
Subject: Any other Gunsmoke teevee episodes on archive.org?..
As is commonly known amongst Gunsmoke fans, the radio show (which ran for nine years) and the teevee show over-lapped between 1955 - 1962.. although the radio and teevee versions had entirely different actors playing the main roles, (Matt, Chester, Doc, and Kitty), most of the first few seasons of the teevee series, which ran for twenty years (!).. used the exact, same scripts and show titles, as many of the radio shows, with the exact, same word-for-word dialog..
If you get the tier of Encore Channels on your cable or dish, Encore Western Channel currently (as of May, 2012), runs two of the early, half-hour teevee episodes, from the 1955 - 195x era, then follows those with a single hour-long episode, from the 1960s.. all of these are thankfully run completely commercial-free, in their original CBS broadcast order.. but only on weekday evenings..
Encore Westerns only has the black and white episodes, up to around 1967-ish, when the show switched to color.. another cable network, TVLand, has the color episodes, but shows them on a very erratic schedule, and crams them fuil of commercials, butchering out entire scenes..
The "darkest" scripts, which span both the radio and earlier teeevee seasons, were written by John Meston.. after one has listened to, or watched enough episodes, one comes to recognize a Meston story or screenplay almost instantly, because he had a very distinct style.. after all, Dodge City, circa the 1870s, wasn't Disneyland, and most of his scripts and screenwriting were morality plays, filled with bad guys who had absolutely no sense of moral conduct, and would kill someone at, say, the bar of the Long Branch Salloon, for just looking at him the "wrong way"..
Radio's Matt Dillon, William Conrad, had FAR more dialog, than James Arness did, for obvious reasons.. Conrad was one of the finest radio voice actors to ever sit in front of a mic..
Radio's Kitty Russell, Georgia Ellis, sounds EXACTLY like teevee's Kitty, Amanda Blake..
So.. many of the early Gunsmokes of both audio and video flavors, are filled with not very happy endings for the bad guys, or, in some cases, the bad women.. and that's what made the series a truly adult Western, the first, and the last of its kind..
Subject: New Fan
I was born in the 90's, definitely NOT a time when Gunsmoke was played on the radio. Thanks to the Big Broadcast on NPR every Sunday night, I am able to listen and enjoy episodes of Gunsmoke. Finding these free downloads was an amazing treat and I was so excited to start listening. Thank you so much this is fantastic!
Subject: Great Series
I've listened to most of these shows as mp3s during the last year or so, and now I'm listening to them again. I enjoyed listening to this every Saturday night as a kid, and now, being able to listen to them again as a way to escape current worries, and to fall asleep at night, they are an absolute delight. I also enjoy listening to the old public service announcements - they are very revealing about the benign political climate of the day.
Subject: CD 3 of 11
While unzipping number 3 of 11 I received an EOF error. On further examination, I found that the following files could not be unzipped:
Gunsmoke 53-05-02 (054) Tacetta.mp3
Gunsmoke 53-07-11 (064) Grass.mp3
Gunsmoke 53-09-19 (074) There Was Never a Horse.mp3
Gunsmoke 54-01-09 (090) Joke's on Us.mp3
Gunsmoke 54-03-06 (098) The Gentleman.mp3
Perhaps errors were caused during download but I don't know
Subject: TO IWALES
Personally I think Gunsmoke is one of the best radio shows I have ever heard and i am not as you say of the group that it was intended for. I am a Teen and not sure why most adults think that we do not go in for this type of stuff. I enjoy the Gunsmoke and Challenge of the Yukon Shows Best I am on episode 104 and find that the show was made in a simple time I time I think I would have enjoyed living in atleast there are only 1-2 advertisments on each one and those are public service announcments mostly. Not to mention the strong moral undertone that permeates each episode Matt Dillon hasent accepted a bribe yet which is more than I can say for law men nowadays.
P.S.- sorry if I offended any police men but you know it's true.
Subject: Thanks again OTRR
Since the 1970s I have listened and collected OTR programs. It was a rare find to stumble upon the OTRR and their contributions. Gunsmoke is another excellent example of this work ethic. Thanks again.
I agree with D.F.
Yes, having the extras is nice, but no, it is NOT clearly stated. After spending an hour downloading, I think a better series description might include the statement:
"All the extras are in the first zip, but no broadcast versions of Gunsmoke. For actual shows, start with zip #2."
Otherwise, no qualms. The shows themselves are great.
Subject: To D.F. Duck (posted below)
New Post: To D.F.Duck
It clearly says, in the description above:
"This OTRR Certified Archival release contains all except six episodes, which are not known to exist. It consists of eleven zipped CDs. The first CD contains many bonus materials, including the Tribute Show, the first TV episode, all known Australian episodes, and a lot of other great stuff."
Seems pretty clear that "bonus materials" and "great stuff" wouldn't necessarily be episodes, althought it does say a tribute show (which would seem to not be a regular episode), the first TV episode (which would seem to not be a regular radio episode), and Australian episodes (which would seem to not be regular U.S. radio episodes). Sorry, but it seems pretty clear in the descripton.
That said, pick a middle numbered CD; the download, even at dial-up, is worth it.
To whoever reloaded CD10, thanks. All the CDs can be downloaded successfully; quality seems as good or better than Version 3.
Gunsmoke, if you haven't heard many episodes, is a series that transcends being a western. It's simply good writing, good acting, good interaction, and good sound effects, good old time radio that more than stands the test of time. Depending on your taste in Old Time Radio, there may be series equally as good as Gunsmoke, but there are few - if any - that are better.
If you don't want to download hundreds of episodes, look for the single episodes and download several because, obviously, some episodes are more appealing to some people than other episodes.
As an aside, I highly recommend listening to WAMU radio in Washington DC, 88.5 FM or www.wamu.org for Ed Walker's The Big Broadcast, four hours of old time radio, Sunday nights beginning at 7 p.m., and always including early in the show and episode of Dragnet and an episode of Gunsmoke. It's a great supplement to listening to your downloads, and will expose you to other radio shows. You can also listen at your convenience anytime via the internet, including the previous week's show. Listen to WAMU, find what you like or think interesting, and download that show and more from archive.org
A good combination.
Again, thanks to whoever re-uploaded CD10, and thanks to all made the series, and the extras, available.
Old post (in case anyone wants to see what I previously wrote)
To add to what I wrote previously (shown below), that is great reasoning, excellent way to say it. I'm most appreciative, and will now, I guess, start my slow process of downloading.
Thanks to everyone for all their help.
As one who previously downloaded the complete earlier version - and I want to say that 1) I appreciated all that work that went into post it, and 2) I've listened to almost all the shows at one time or another, before I start to download the all new version, would it be possible that someone can tell us what the changes are between the new and the previous versions? If it's only singular episodes on one CD being replaced by better quality episodes, if it's copies of the previously unavailable episodes shows, D, or if it's additional non-traditional (i.e., Australian version or AFRTS version episodepis), that might affect what I (and others) download.
But, in advance of anything else I may do, I want to say thanks for all the work that went into making the previous version available, and for all the work making the new version available to me and others. Thank you.
D.F. Duck -
Subject: Table Of CD Contents
Is there a table of contents somewhere of what is on each CD?
After many hours downloading CD1 I was rather dissapointed. I thought I was getting a bunch of radio episodes to listen to. While all the photos, cigarette ads, and mpg of the first TV episode are very nice and interesting, I wouldn't have downloaded CD1 first on my slow dialup internet connection had I known it wasn't radio episodes.
Thanks for this - it was worth the wait! A lot of my Gunsmoke's are indeed screwed up so I'm now looking forward to getting rid of them and listening from this set! So far, they seem to be in great quality and all the extras are very nice too, especially the premiere TV episode with an intro by John Wayne! Keep up the great work...
Version 4---Wow...Sound is great, and maybe I slept thru a couple of episodes but it sure is great going thru the series again. All the extras in V4 is fantastic. I had no idea of the new improved sound and such a complete collection. Again my hats off to all who made this possible. I devoted 33 1/2 years of my life in service to my country and this is a great thank you to preserve.
Subject: Gunsmoke is wonderful
An endless sea of thanks to all who have put in time and effort making these available!
Subject: GUNSMOKE V.4
Also included in the documentation for the series are detailed plot summaries for the five "Missing" 1952 GUNSMOKE episodes.
The plot summaries for these episodes
May 03, 1952 Ben Thompson
May 17, 1952 Dodge City Killer
Jun 14, 1952 Jailbait Janet
Jun 21, 1952 Heat Spell
Jun 28, 1952 The Ride Back
are based on the scripts for these episodes.
These scripts (and 27 other 1952 GUNSMOKE scripts) were just discovered by an Old-Time Radio researcher in 2007.
Subject: Changes with Version 4
The prior Version 3 of Gunsmoke generally succeeded in providing a complete set of Gunsmoke episodes; however, the quality of many of the episodes were only average. Many episodes were poorly encoded. For years many of the mp3 episodes of Gunsmoke have been plagued with inserted dialog (dialog from some other portion of the show which was just plopped into a different part of the show - this resulted in 5 to 10 seconds of dialog being 'lost') and sound drop outs. In addition it was found that commercials and public service announcements along with bridge music had been clipped and hacked out of some of the episodes. There were also at least 4 episode mislabels in version 3.
It is hoped that the current version 4 offers an advancement in listening quality of episodes, addressing many of the enumerated past problems. Most if not all inserted dialog and drop-outs have been eliminated and several hundred episodes were encoded at a much higher quality than before. Where possible, previously chopped and hacked bridge music, commercials and public service announcements were restored.
In addition version 4 contains approximately 250 pages of bios, reference materials and episode summaries. There are maps of Kansas which include helpful information. For example if an episode mentions 'The Republican River" or 'Hayes City' there are reference maps to show you where these places are in relation to Dodge. I believe that although the resource material is not exhaustive that there will be plenty of interesting information for the Gunsmoke fan.
Version 4 also contains more pictures from Gunsmoke radio (including supporting cast such as John Dehner, Vic Perrin Virginia Gregg etc). There are also newspaper clippings about radio's Gunsmoke that were written at the time the show aired.
In short, Gunsmoke Version 4 (building on the prior version 3) tries to take the Gunsmoke radio experience to the next level. Since several hundred episodes have new encodes, I would recommend 'up-grading.' Someday I hope that there will be a Version 5 that will be even better, but for now this new version should be a noticeable improvement.
Subject: Gunsmoke Version 4 Posted
The eleven CDs of OTRR Certified Gunsmoke Version 4 have been uploaded!
Subject: When is Gunsmoke Coming Back??
I've been hoping to see Gunsmoke posted up again for several weeks now. Does anybody know when it will be reposted??
Subject: The FIRST and BEST Western for adults
Unlike previous westerns like Wild Bill Hickok, Hopalong Cassidy and The Cisco Kid, Gunsmoke was a western for the adult listener. The four main characters, Matt, Chester, Doc and Kitty, all had vastly different personalities. The way the writers in this series brilliantly intertwined these personalities (along with the bad guys) in each episode made Gunsmoke the BEST OTR western ever! It also doesn't hurt that the series had the best sound effects on Radio!